Heathered Pearls

Body Complex

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After Jakub Alexander released Loyal, a collection of sedate and beat-less productions that nonetheless moved, he commissioned remixes for Loyal Reworks. Among the most memorable entries was a characteristically emotive remix from the veteran Lawrence, whose slowly evolving strain of techno -- based in relaxed tempos, unconventional melodies, and diaphanous ambient layers -- has evidently informed Alexander's second Heathered Pearls album. In fact, Body Complex would be at home on Lawrence's Hamburg-based Dial as much as it is on Ghostly, the label for which Alexander serves as an A&R person. (The connection goes even deeper than that. Back in 2004, Ghostly was the outlet for a prime Lawrence EP.) While Loyal's direction was inspired by nighttime oceanside lazing, Alexander cited early morning post-club driving as the setting and mood that prompted his approach here, though another passion is displayed in titles like "Interior Architecture Software," "Sunken Living Area," and "Artificial Foliage." The content of the tracks, as well as the sequencing, is neatly designed and paced, with ambient pieces -- the four shortest tracks -- evenly distributed across the first and second halves, among longer yet still succinct rhythmic cuts. Label mates Shigeto and the Sight Below are featured, respectively, on two of the latter: the relatively gritty "Personal Kiosk" and the steadier, more soothing "Abandoned Mall Utopia." Alexander saves the album's lone vocal and most chilling moment, "Warm Air Estate," for second-to-last. It features a spooky turn from Beacon's Thomas Mullarney III under the alias Outerbridge, and when the stern beat drops out for roughly 40 seconds, then continues as it started, the effect is somehow twice as fearsome. Like Alexander's debut, this is one of one of Ghostly's highest-quality releases of the 2010s. There's no excess.

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